I’m the guy who lost the Borehamwood Kenilworth ward in the local election on May 2 in the cruellest way imaginable: drawing lots after a dead heat.

I now share the dubious honour of belonging to a tiny band of British citizens ever to suffer such a fate!

Whilst the nature of this defeat hurts, I am deeply moved by the hundreds of messages of support from voters whom have I never even met, local campaigners, activists from different parties (including my Conservative opponents) and from many friends.

I’d also like to thank my wife and our young son for their patience over the past year, the Hertsmere Labour Party, my running mates Rebecca Butler and Kumail Jaffer, who will make great councillors, and all those who either voted for me or with whom I shared doorstep conversations.

Right now I feel crushed that I won’t be able to represent the wonderful people of Borehamwood Kenilworth.

However I take heart that the overall gains for Labour and the swing away from the Tories in their heartlands and across our town and the borough, shows that residents are becoming increasingly conscious and ever more empowered to act against Conservative cuts to our services.

The damage these cuts are reaping on our community are being exposed. The people of Borehamwood deserve better. Trying to learn lessons from the campaign, I hope that those Conservatives who tried to weaponise the question of anti-Semitism by seeking to connect Hertsmere Labour Party to problems that the party has nationally will refrain from doing so again.

Our focus in this election was on local issues affecting local residents. While we have and will continue to condemn anti-Semitism whether within the Labour Party or outside it, given this line of attack from the Tories, it is unfortunate that Jewish Labour candidates like myself, Graeme Alexander and Mik Levin all lost by very small margins.

Another lesson: please vote! I testify that literally one vote can make a difference!

I will pick myself up and will soon be back campaigning to protect your threatened green spaces. For that GP surgery that the Tories have never delivered. For a new youth centre, and to defend all our local services that continue to close under the Conservativedominated council. In holding our Conservative council to account from outsidethe council chamber while the Labour

councillors do what they can inside it.

I will be there fighting with you to create a better Borehamwood.

Stronger and more determined